Designing for the birds and bees

Designs for urban bee hives, bat boxes and bird boxes are going on show in London as part of a project that aims to provide wildlife habitats in the capital.

b House, by Joe Akers Coyle
b House, by Jon Akers Coyle with Growth Industry

Last year an international competition was launched by the Architecture Foundation on behalf of Inmidtown, the business improvement district for central London that covers the areas of Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles.

Now three designs have been shortlisted – with a final winning design to be selected.

Habi-Sabi, by Studio 51%
Habi-Sabi, by Studio 51%

Studio 51% has developed Habi-Sabi, which it describes as a ‘fast, adaptable and metropolitan’ animal habitat.

Jon Akers Coyle and Growth Industry Ltd have created three designs – the b House, the Batwing and the Metropolitan Planter. Designed for bees, birds and bats, all three are based around origami-themed steel structures.

Batwing, by Joe Akers Coyle
Batwing, by Jon Akers Coyle with Growth Industry

Meanwhile Archmongers and Buchanan Partnership have designed the Bee Lifts, featuring folding arms to hoist the hives into the air. The designers make the rather ambitious claim that this may herald a new way of looking at the city, which they call ‘bee tourism’.

The three shortlisted designs will go on display in the courtyard in Central St Giles later this month. Following input from visitors, as well as a judging panel including Nigel Coates and Jill Cook from the British Museum, a winning design will be produced and installed in green areas throughout central London.

Bee Lifts, by Archmongers and Buchanan Partnership
Bee Lifts, by Archmongers and Buchanan Partnership

Inmidtown Habitats is at the courtyard at Central St Giles, London WC2, from 27 March-17 April

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